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[33] Mr. Chew, from the State Department at Washington, had notified both Governor Pickens and General Beauregard ‘that the government intended to provision Fort Sumter peaceably, if possible, forcibly, if necessary;’ not until then was the last expectation of an amicable settlement of our difficulties dismissed from the minds of those who, though vigorously preparing for war, cherished none the less the delusive hope of peace.

It was rumored at the time, and has been repeated since by General Crawford, that Mr. Chew, after delivering his message to the South Carolina authorities, ‘barely escaped from the city of Charleston without molestation.’ This is an error. Mr. Chew, who was an intelligent man, no doubt felt the very equivocal nature of his mission at such a juncture, and did manifest symptoms of anxiety for his personal safety; but General Beauregard and Governor Pickens gave him at once most positive assurances that he had no reason to fear any act of violence from the people of Charleston. ‘The crowd you see around this building,’ General Beauregard told him, ‘shows the eagerness of the people to be informed of the news you bear us, and nothing more. You may go among them, repeat what you have here said, and not a word of insult will be offered you.’ To make assurance doubly sure, however, and to appease the apparent nervousness of Mr. Lincoln's messenger, he was escorted to the railroad depot by aids of General Beauregard and Governor Pickens, and left Charleston unmolested, and as freely as he had entered it. The only thing he could have complained of—though we have no evidence that he ever did—is, that his telegrams to Mr. Lincoln never reached their destination, and that his return journey was unusually protracted. The explanation of these facts is that General Beauregard, who considered himself justified in making use of every rightful stratagem of war, arrested Mr. Chew's telegrams, and purposely delayed some of the trains that took him back to Washington.

Major Anderson's letter to Colonel L. Thomas, AdjutantGen-eral United States Army, dated April 8th, 1861, and the telegrams from Messrs. Crawford, Roman, and Forsyth, from Washington, establish the fact that the object of the Federal government in delaying its final answer to the Southern Commissioners was to gain time for the reinforcement of Sumter before it could be reduced by the South Carolina troops under General Beauregard.

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